The Path to Citizenship Starts With An End to the Deportations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joe Shansky (414) 218-3331

“The Path to Citizenship Starts With An End to the Deportations”

Response to Federal Immigration Reform Proposals

In response to both the President’s speech on Tuesday and the bi-partisan Senate framework for immigration reform, Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz issued the following statement:

“Both the president’s leadership and bipartisan efforts to create a path to citizenship for New Americans represent a turning point in this movement, with new reason for hope. However, to realize this long overdue reform, new legislation must provide a working path to citizenship:

— A path to citizenship must be broad, simple, and affordable for the 11 million aspiring citizens in the US.  Employment restrictions referenced in the principles introduced threaten to exclude significant numbers of workers — such as day laborers, temporary agency workers, workers paid in cash in restaurants, landscapers and more, as well as stay-at-home fathers or mothers.

Fines cannot be so steep that low income families are unable to afford the process, and the process should not be so cumbersome that workers with “probationary status” need to apply twice.

There’s no need to make the path to citizenship conditional on increaded border enforcement, when we already have record low numbers of migration, and cruel enforcement policies which have only led to a human rights crisis at the border.

— The president cannot propose legislation to create new citizens while simultaneously deporting at a record rate those he claims to want to legalize.  Each day that passes,1,000 families are separated from their loved ones and face economic hardship and emotional trauma — especially the children.

— Any future flow system needs to ensure strong worker rights protections regardless of immigration status, so some abusive employers cannot use immigrant labor as cheap labor or retaliation, undermining wages and conditions for all workers in the US.

We know it can be done.

We are excited to work in support of a bill that will rise to our nation’s principles and ideals. But in order for a legislative solution that will keep families together, we need to do better.”

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